Dozens of villagers on Thursday tried to snatch from policy custody a man held for double murder from outside the Kamalia tehsil courts to punish him on their own.
Police officials, not wishing to be named, told The Express Tribune that the villagers tried to abduct Boota Maseeh from the court complex when he was brought to be presented before a magistrate but the police guard foiled the attempt.
Area Magistrate Fahim Ashraf then sent him on 14-day judicial remand.
On Wednesday, hundreds of villagers had protested in front of the Kamalia City police station and demanded that Boota be handed over to them.
According to some of the villagers, Maseeh, a resident of Christian Colony, had been seen stealing a goat from the Islampura village on Monday afternoon.
Confronted by several men on Tuesday evening, he allegedly slashed and injured seven people with a dagger. While villagers were still pursuing him when the police arrived and took him into custody.
The injured men – Shafi, Nazir, Mushtaq and Iqbal – were taken to Kamalia THQ hospital. Shafi and Nisar later died at the hospital. Doctors said the remaining men were in a serious condition.
“The villagers were outraged when the bodies of two men arrived from hospital. People wanted to hang the suspect themselves,” Islampura village resident Abdur Razzak Panhwar said.
Nazir’s body was put on the railway crossing near Rajhana. Villagers had demanded that Boota Maseeh be hanged immediately.
The protestors later assembled at the City Kamalia police station.
A number of vehicles were damaged during the protest. Most shops in the city were closed.
Kamalia DSP Mohammad Akbar Khan Niazi persuaded the protestors to disperse.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.